You are on page 1of 24

Watir Recipes

The problem solving guide to Watir


Zhimin Zhan
This book is for sale at http://leanpub.com/watir_recipes
This version was published on 2014-03-26
This is a Leanpub book. Leanpub empowers authors and publishers with the Lean Publishing
process. Lean Publishing is the act of publishing an in-progress ebook using lightweight tools and
many iterations to get reader feedback, pivot until you have the right book and build traction once
you do.
2013 - 2014 Zhimin Zhan
To Xindi for your understanding and support!
Contents
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
Who should read this book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
How to read this book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
Get recipe test scripts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
Send Me Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Watir and its variants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
RSpec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Run recipe scripts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2 Hyperlink . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Start browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Click a link by label text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Click Nth link with exact same label . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Verify a link present or not? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Getting link data attributes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Test links open a new browser window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3 Button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Click a button by label . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Click a button by ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Click a button by name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Click an image button . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Assert a button present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Assert a button enabled or disabled? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
4 TextField and TextArea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Enter text into a text field by name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Enter text into a text field by ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Enter text into a password field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Clear a text field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Enter text into a multi-line text area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Assert value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
CONTENTS
Focus on a control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Set a value to a read-only or disabled text field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Preface
Two years ago, I presented at a software testing conference overseas. I was really impressed with
testers desire to automated test web applications. The audience surrounded me with various
questions after my sessions. The following year, I was invited to present at the same conference,
the enthusiastic atmosphere was the same, if not stronger (Test Automation and Web application
testing were listed as No.1 and No.2 of top 10 hot topics in the audience survey). I did recognize a
couple of familiar faces. When I asked themcasually howtest automation was going in their projects.
They either said not so good or shied away. This puzzle was on my mind on the trip back.
Not long after, I was coaching test automation on a client site, and the only tester there was
completely new to test automation, but she was quite keen to learn. At the end of the day, she
did well, developed a dozen of automated test cases. I then asked her: After you read my book or
attended one of my presentations, would you go back to try test automation in your project. She
answered quickly No. I would believe in it, but I will not have the confidence to give a try at work.
Suddenly, I figured out the answer.
Everyone in the field understands that, manual testing is the bottleneck of software development,
and performing regression testing is practically impossible for many projects. As a result, long release
cycles and poor quality products. Few testers consider manual testing exciting and fun (I can tell you
that test automation is). Motivated managers/testers want to change that. However, the knowledge
they gain from books or presentations would not give them enough confidence and courage to take
action.
Therefore, test automation is rarely done successfully. From executives perspective, they usually
are more cautious after having seen several failed attempts on test automation. Practically, for a
motivated project managers/test team leaders who plan to introduce test automation, they need to
have a secret trial. They usually develop some key tests by following the start guide. However, they
soon will face some challenges such as: how to click this dynamic generated hyperlink?, how to do
handle base authentication pop up?, , and stuck there.
This is the motive for me to write this book: to help these motivated test professionals.
This book contains over 100 recipes for testing web applications with Watir. If you have read my
Practical Web Test Automation, you have probably known my style: being practical. I will let the
test scripts do the most talking. These recipe test scripts are live, as I have created the target web
site and offline test web pages. By using the the book, recipe test scripts and the test pages (or sites),
you can
1. Identify your issue
https://leanpub.com/practical_web_test_automation
Preface ii
2. Find the recipe
3. Run the test case
4. See test execution in your browser
Who should read this book
Testers or programmers who are writing (or want to learn) Watir automated tests to test web
applications.
How to read this book
Usually, a recipe book is a reference book. Readers can go directly to the part that interests them.
For example, if you are testing a multiple select list and dont know how, you can look up in the
Table of Contents, then go to chapter 7. As software testing is so pragmatic, testers can use this
book to learn test automation in Watir too, by going through recipe one by one. I have arranged the
recipes according to the levels of complexity.
Get recipe test scripts
To help readers learn more effectively, this book has a dedicated site which contains the recipe test
scripts and related resources. Those test scripts with test pages/sites are packaged for easy and quick
execution, which accounts for a large percentage of effort for this book (and made this book unique).
All recipe test scripts are Watir 5 compliant, and run on Internet Explorer 9 on Windows 7. I plan to
keep the test scripts updated with the latest stable Watir version.
Send Me Feedback
I would appreciate hearing from you. Comments, suggestions, errors in the book and test scripts are
all welcome. You can submit your feedback on the book site.
Zhimin Zhan
April 2013
http://zhimin.com/books/watir-recipes
1 Introduction
Watir (Web Application Testing in Ruby) is a free and open source library for automated testing web
applications in Internet Explorer. I think it is a fair assumption that you have already known about
Watir, simply based on the fact that you picked up this book (or opened it in your eBook reader).
Watir and its variants
The r in Watir stands for Ruby, a free and powerful dynamic language with concise and elegant
syntax. In other words, Watir test scripts are Ruby scripts. Inspired by Watirs success, there are clone
frameworks in .NET and Java platforms: WatiN and Watij respectively. In my view, these two test
frameworks are of not much value. There is a clear reason why creators of Watir included Ruby in
the name: simply because of its importance (the hugely popular web framework Ruby on Rails also
includes Ruby in its name). The concise, intuitiveness and flexibility of Ruby programming language
makes it an ideal choice for automated test scripts. By the way, Ruby is a scripting language, Java
and C# are not.
Watir-WebDriver
Watir-WebDriver is WebDriver-backed Watir, i.e., Watir syntax test scripts with Selenium-WebDriver
as the engine underneath. One major benefit is that Watir-WebDriver test scripts can run on Firefox,
Chrome and IE on multiple platforms including Windows, Linux and Mac.
In theory, switching Watir to Watir-WebDriver is as simple as changing
require 'watir'
browser = Watir::Browser.new
# ....
to
require 'watir-webdriver'
browser = Watir::Browser.new
# ....
Personally, I like to use classic Watir when Internet Explorer is one of the target browsers. Watir is
fast, stable and easy to attach test execution to the existing browser windows (will cover this topic
later).
If you are a Mac/Linux User, the recipes are still applicable, just the framework is Watir-WebDriver
instead of Watir. I will cover Watir-WebDriver more specifically in Chapter 16.
Introduction 2
RSpec
Watir drives browsers. However, to make the effective use of Watir scripts for testing, we need to put
them in a test framework which defines test structures and provides assertions (to perform checks
in test scripts). Typical choices are:
xUnit Unit Test Frameworks such as JUnit, NUnit.
Behaviour Driven Frameworks such as RSpec, Cucumber.
In this book, I mainly use RSpec, the de facto Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) framework for
Ruby.
describe "A grouped collection of test case " do
before(:all) do
@browser = Watir::Browser.new
end
after(:all) do
browser.close unless debugging?
end
before(:each) do
browser.goto(site_url)
end
it "Check page title" do
browser.title.should == "Watir Recipes"
browser.title.include?("Watir").should be_true
browser.title.include?("Watir").should_not be_false
browser.title.should_not include("Selenium")
end
# more test cases ...
end
Run recipe scripts
Test scripts for all recipes can be downloaded from the book site. They are all in ready-to-run state.
I include the target web pages/sites as well as Watir test scripts. There are two kinds of target web
pages: local HTML files and web pages on a live site.
Introduction 3
Enable IE to allow executing JavaScripts locally
Running tests against Local HTML files is fast and reliable (no need for Internet Access), and readers
can add or modify web pages to try out newtest operations. However, when opening local web pages
containing JavaScripts, you may see the security warning Internet Explorer restricted this webpage
from running scripts or ActiveX controls.
This prevents execution of some JavaScripts in the local files. As a result, it affects the test execution.
To disable this warning (to be sure, you may want to inspect the only jquery-1.4.2.min.js and inline
javascript in the sample HTML files), open Internet Options in Internet Explorer. Go to Advanced
tab, scroll down to the security section there should be an option Allow active content to run in
files on My Computer. Enabling this should allow them to run.
Run tests in TestWise Community Edition
TestWise is a functional testing Integration Development Environment (IDE) that supports Watir
and Selenium. TestWise community edition is free.
In this book, I refer to TestWise when editing or executing test scripts. If youve already had preferred
testing tools/IDE, go for it. It shall not affect your learning this book or running recipe test scripts.
Installation of TestWise is easy. It only takes a couple of minutes (unless your Internet speed is very
slow) to download and install. And TestWise is the only software you need to use while learning
with this book (or developing Watir test scripts for your work).
To open recipe test scripts, close currently opened project if there is one. Select menu File -> Open
Project,
Introduction 4
select the project file watir-recipes-sources\watir-recipes-samples.tpr
The TestWise window shall look as below:
Find the test case
You can locate the recipe either by following the chapters or searching by names. There are over 100
test cases in one test project. Here is the quickest way to find the one you want in TestWise.
Select menu Navigation -> Go to Test Case...
A pop up window appears with all test cases in the project listed for your selection. The finding
starts as you type.
Introduction 5
Within a test script file (opened in the editor), press Ctrl+F12 to show and select test cases inside it.
Run individual test case
Move caret to a line within a test case (between it "..." do and end). Right mouse click and select
Run .
The below is a screenshot of execution panel when one test case failed,
Run all test cases in a test script file
You can also run all test cases in currently opened test script file by clicking the blue triangle button
on the tool bar.
Introduction 6
The below is a screenshot of the execution panel when all test cases in a test script file passed,
Run tests from command line
One advantage of open-source test frameworks, such as Watir and Selenium, is FREEDOM. You can
edit the test scripts in any text editor and run them from a command line.
You need to install Ruby first, then install RSpec and preferred web test driver and library (known
as Gem in Ruby). Basic steps are:
install Ruby interpreter
Window installer: http://rubyinstaller.org, Linux/Mac: included or compile from source
install RSpec
> gem install rspec
install test framework gem(s)
> gem install watir
or
> gem install watir-webdriver
For windows users, you may simply download and install the free pre-packaged RubyShell (based
on Ruby Windows Installer) at http://testwisely.com/en/testwise/downloads.
Once the installation (it takes about 1 minute) is complete, we can run a RSpec test from the
command line. You need to have some knowledge of typing commands in a console (Unix) or
command window.
To run test cases in a test script file (named google_spec.rb), enter command
> rspec google_spec.rb
Run multiple test script files in one go:
http://testwisely.com/en/testwise/downloads
Introduction 7
> rspec first_spec.rb second_test.rb
Run individual test case in a test script file, supply a line number in chosen test case range.
> rspec -l30 google_spec.rb
To generate a test report (HTML) after test execution:
> rspec -fh google_spec.html > test_report.html
The command syntax is the same for Mac OS X and Linux platforms.
2 Hyperlink
Hyperlinks (or links) are fundamental elements of web pages. As a matter of fact, it is hyperlinks
that makes the World Wide Web possible. A sample link is provided below, along with the HTML
source.
HTML Source
<a href="index.html" id="recommend_watir_link" class="nav" data-id="123" style="f\
ont-size: 14px;">Recommend Watir</a>
Start browser
Testing web sites starts with a browser.
browser = Watir::Browser.new
browser.start("http://testwisely.com/demo")
You can also use goto instead of start.
browser = Watir::Browser.new
browser.goto("http://testwisely.com/en/testwise")
Click a link by label text
Using label text is probably the most direct way to click a link in Watir, as it is what we see on the
page.
browser.link(:text, "Recommend Watir").click
Click a link by ID
Using IDs is the easiest way (and probably the safest too, as it should be unique if the page is W3C
HTML conformed) to identify web controls if the programmers assign IDs to them. In contract to
referring to the link label texts, test scripts that use IDs are less prone to application changes (eg.
an application designer or developer may decide to change the label, but would not likely need to
change the ID).
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/H93.html
Hyperlink 9
browser.link(:id, "sign_in_link").click
Furthermore, if you are testing a web site with multiple languages, using IDs is probably the only
feasible option. You do not want to write test scripts like below:
if is_chinese? # a helper function determines the locale
browser.link(:text, "").click
elsif is_italian?
browser.link(:text, "Accedi").click
else
browser.link(:text, "Sign in").click
end
Click a link by partial label text
Watir allows you to identify a hyperlink control with a partial text. This can be quite useful when
the label text is dynamically generated. In other words, the label text on one web page might be
different on your next visit. We might be able to use the common text shared by these dynamically
generated link labels to identify these links.
browser.link(:text, /partial/i).click #contains 'partial', case insensitive
browser.text.should include("This is partial link page")
Here we use the regular expression in (//), a powerful pattern matching language. If you are
not familiar with the regular expression, dont feel intimidated. The use of regular expression in
automated test scripts is very minimal. Online regular expression testers such as Rubular will make
it easy to learn what you need.
By URL
browser.link(:url, "http://testwisely.com/demo").click
Please note :url only works for Watir Classic (not watir-webdriver).
http://rubular.com/
Hyperlink 10
Click Nth link with exact same label
It is not uncommon that there are more than one link with exactly the same label. By default, Watir
will choose the first one. What if you want to click the second or Nth one?
The web page below contains three Show Answer links,
To click the second one,
browser.link(:text => "Show Answer", :index => 1).click
The :index tells Watir which element in appearing order to select, Watir (since version 2.0) uses
0-based indexing, i.e. the first one is 0.
browser.link(:text, "Show Answer").click # this will click first link
browser.link(:text => "Show Answer", :index => 0).click # still first link
If there are multiple links with the same label that have different attribute values, such as class, we
could use the attribute to narrow down the choice, such as
browser.link(:text => "Same link", :class => "small").click
Verify a link present or not?
browser.link(:text, "Sign in").present?.should be_true
browser.link(:id, "sign_out_link").present?.should_not be_true
Besides present?, you may use visible? to check whether an element is visible on the page. Watir-
Classic also has another similar method exists?.
browser.link(:text, "Hide").click
browser.link(:text, "Recommend Watir").present?.should be_false
browser.link(:text, "Recommend Watir").visible?.should be_false
Getting link data attributes
Once a control is identified, we can get its other attributes of the element. This is generally applicable
to most of the controls.
Hyperlink 11
browser.link(:text, "Recommend Watir").href.should == "http://testwisely.com/demo"
browser.link(:text, "Recommend Watir").id.should == "recommend_watir_link"
browser.link(:id, "recommend_watir_link").text.should == "Recommend Watir"
browser.link(:id, "recommend_watir_link").tag_name.should == "a"
Also you can get the value of custom attributes of this element and its inline CSS style.
browser.link(:id, "recommend_watir_link").attribute_value("data-id").should == "1\
23"
Special note on the style attribute, which is different between Watr-Classic and Watir-WebDriver.
Watir-Classic
browser.link(:id, "recommend_watir_link").style.should == "FONT-SIZE: 14px"
# Please note using attribute_value("style") won't work in Watir-Classic
Watir-WebDriver
browser.link(:id, "recommend_watir_link").attribute_value("style").should == "fon\
t-size: 14px;"
Test links open a new browser window
Clicking the link below will open the linked URL in a new browser window or tab.
<a href="http://testwisely.com/demo" target="_blank">Open new window</a>
While we could use Watir attach method (see chapter 10) to find the new browser window, it will
be easier to perform all testing within one browser window. Here is how:
current_url = browser.url
new_window_url = browser.link(:text, "Open new window").href
browser.goto(new_window_url)
# ... testing on new site
browser.text_field(:name, "name").set "sometext"
browser.goto(current_url) # back
In this test script, we use a local variable (a programming term) current_url to store the current
URL.
3 Button
There are mainly two types of buttons: standard buttons and submit/reset buttons in a form. They
both work the same way in Watir.
HTML Source
<button id="choose_watir_btn" class="nav" data-id="123" style="font-size: 14px;">\
Choose Watir</button>
<!-- ... -->
<form name="input" action="index.html" method="get">
Username: <input type="text" name="user">
<input type="submit" name="submit_action" value="Submit">
</form>
Please note that some controls look like buttons, but are actually hyperlinks by CSS styling.
Click a button by label
browser.button(:value, "Choose Watir").click
For an input button (in a HTML input tag) in a form, the label shown on the button is the value
attribute which might contain extra spaces or invisible characters. Watir expects an exact match
when searching an input control by value.
<input type="submit" name="submit_action" value="Space After "/>
Button 13
# the below will fail
# browser.button(:value, "Space After").click
browser.button(:value, "Space After ").click
Click a button by ID
As always, a better way to identify a button is to use IDs. This applies to all controls.
browser.button(:id, "choose_watir_btn").click
Click a button by name
In an input button, we can use a new generic attribute to locate a control: name.
browser.button(:name, "choose_watir").click
Click an image button
There is also another type of button: an image that works as a submit button in a form.
<input type="image" src="images/go.gif">
Besides using ID, the button can be identified by using :src attribute.
browser.button(:src, /go/).click
Assert a button present
Just like hyperlinks, we can use present? to check whether a control is present on a web page. This
check applies to most of the web controls in Watir.
Button 14
browser.button(:text, "Choose Watir").present?.should be_true
browser.button(:text, "Choose Selenium").present?.should_not be_true
browser.button(:id, "choose_watir_btn").present?.should be_true
Assert a button enabled or disabled?
A web control can be in a disabled state. A disabled buttons is un-clickable, and it is displayed
differently.
Normally enabling or disabling buttons (or other web controls) are triggered by JavaScripts.
browser.button(:text, "Choose Watir").enabled?.should be_true
browser.link(:text, "Disable").click
sleep 0.5
browser.button(:id, "choose_watir_btn").enabled?.should be_false
browser.link(:text, "Enable").click
sleep 1
browser.button(:id, "choose_watir_btn").enabled?.should be_true
4 TextField and TextArea
Text fields are commonly used in a form to pass user entered text data to a server. There are two
variants: password fields and text areas. The characters in password fields are masked (shown as
asterisks or circles). Text areas allows multiple line texts.
HTML Source
Username: <input type="text" name="username" id="user"><br>
Password: <input type="password" name="password" id="pass"> <br/>
Comments: <br/>
<textarea id="comments" rows="2" cols="60" name="comments"></textarea>
Enter text into a text field by name
browser.text_field(:name, "username").set("new value")
The name attribute is the identification used by the programmers to process the data, and it applies
to all the web controls in a standard web form.
Enter text into a text field by ID
browser.text_field(:id, "user").send_keys("tester1")
In above test scripts, I use the send_keys here. For common use, testers might treat send_keys the
same as set, but they are different. set clears the text field before populating the text while send_-
keys just send keys into text boxes. See the example below:
TextField and TextArea 16
browser.text_field(:id, "user").set("userone")
browser.text_field(:id, "user").set("usertwo")
# Now value of this text box is 'usertwo'
browser.text_field(:id, "user").clear
browser.text_field(:id, "user").send_keys("userone")
browser.text_field(:id, "user").send_keys("usertwo")
# The value in text field might have different values
# depends on your IE browser version, the value can be
#'useroneusertwo', 'userone', 'useroneo' (don't ask me why)
Enter text into a password field
In Watir, password text fields are treated as normal text fields, except that the entered text is masked.
browser.text_field(:id, "pass").set("testisfun")
HTML5 introduces an e-mail address input control (input type=email), it is also treated as a normal
input text field.
Clear a text field
browser.text_field(:id, "user").set("testwisely")
browser.text_field(:name, "username").clear
Enter text into a multi-line text area
Watir treats text areas the same as text fields.
browser.text_field(:id, "comments").set("Automated testing is\r\nFun!")
The \r\n represents a new line.
Assert value
TextField and TextArea 17
browser.text_field(:id, "user").set("testwisely")
browser.text_field(:id, "user").value.should == "testwisely"
Focus on a control
Once we identify a control in Watir, we can set the focus on it.
browser.text_field(:id, "user").focus
Set a value to a read-only or disabled text field
Read only and disabled text fields are not editable on the page, and they are shown differently in
the browser (typically grayed out).
Readonly text field:
<input type="text" name="readonly_text" readonly="true"/> <br/>
Disabled text field:
<input type="text" name="disabled_text" disabled="true"/>
If a text box is set to be read-only, the following test step wont work.
browser.text_field(:name, "readonly_text").set("new value")
Watir-Classic
Here is a workaround:
browser.text_field(:name, "readonly_text").value = "anyuse" # OK
browser.text_field(:name, "disabled_text").value = "bypass" # OK
Watir-WebDriver
The above method value = does not work for Watir-WebDriver. But there is another workaround:
browser.execute_script("$('#readonly_text').val('bypass');")
browser.text_field(:name, "readonly_text").value.should == "bypass"
browser.execute_script("$('#disabled_text').val('anyuse');")
browser.text_field(:name, "disabled_text").value.should == "anyuse"
The below is a screenshot of a disabled and read-only text fields that were injected with two values
by the above Watir test script.